David Trezeguet a 22 year old Frenchman who grew up in Argentina and who speaks fluent Spanish, sealed victory for France in the Euro 2000 soccer championship final in Rotterdam. Trezeguet who came on as a 2nd half substitute, with France the World Champions losing 1-0 against Italy, played a significant part in the dramatic French win. First of all the AS Monaco player headed on the ball to another substitute Sylvain Wiltord who equalised with just seconds remaining in the game.
Trezeguet, who was born in Rouen France in 1977 but emigrated to Argentina with his parents when very young, then produced a stunning winning 'golden goal' 8 minutes into the first period of extra time, as he volleyed the ball high into the net from 6 meters after a splendid cross from another substitute Robert Pires.
Trezeguet who played first team football with the Argentine team PLATENSE could have stayed in South America but elected to return to his native France and this season scored an excellent 20 goals for AS Monaco which forced coach Roger Lemerre to select him for the National squad again. He had, before last night's winning goal, already scored 3 times for France, playing in 5 of France's seven 1998 FIFA World Cup matches scoring once, but was dropped from the team for a short period, playing in the under-21's instead.
After the game, the 'Man of the Match' forward Thierry Henry, paid tribute to the 'Argentine' youngster saying, 'I told David Trezeguet that "you are always there when we need you" - when I saw the ball at his feet I knew we would score'. Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, who has just joined Manchester United in England for 10 million dollars also paid tribute to Trezeguet, while French coach Roger Lemerre said 'We have some excellent young and talented players like Thierry Henry,DAVID TREZEGUET (who could soon move to play for Juventus in Italy), Sylvain Wiltord and Nicholas Anelka'.
Unlike the Dutch coach Frank Rikaards substitutions against the Italians in the semi-finals, who all proved to be totally ineffective, Lemerre's 3 substitutions, Wiltord, Trezuguet and Robert Pires played a leading part in the 2 goals which France scored to become the first ever double champions of World Cup and Euro Champions.
Now the Italians are wondering what might have happened had Trezeguet decided to remain in Argentina and play for their national side, instead of returning to his birthplace and becoming a French hero!.
Patrick Watts, Holland